Monday, January 26, 2015

New Toyota Alphard and Vellfire (H30W)

2016 Toyota Alphard

2016 Toyota Vellfire
Toyota's flagship MPVs are now regenerated for their brand new generation and the brand new Alphard and Vellfire are now ready to aim for the luxury minivan spotlight that was taken from the likes of the Nissan Elgrand and the Honda Odyssey. Yes. The luxury minivans coveted by mostly ASEANS are back with a brand new look and features that will surely begged to have one until Toyota gives a go to send Japan's top-notch minivans to those greedy ASEANs. Oh, and if you don't mind, don't bother telling the differences between these two because mechanically, they're the same cars with different faces just like the Noah and Voxy.

Yes, they're different in their exterior designs and to sum things up, here's what you can expect on the outside of these two. On the new Toyota Alphard, which is now on its 3rd generation, the front face now looks like it came from the latest Toyota Crown saloon. The new Vellfire, meanwhile, has a front face that looks like it came from the Nissan Dayz, the Highway Star version. The faces are different but they have a completely new side view that looks more streamlined and the rear view that looks like it copied the Elgrand's rear for whatever reasons. Although, they look like they're a distorted mess, both the new Alphard and the new Vellfire's design really make the cut above the rest of those Japanese luxury MPVs.

2016 Toyota Alphard interior

2016 Toyota Alphard interior

2016 Toyota Vellfire interior

2016 Toyota Vellfire interior

The interior has been the grand stage for both the Alphard and the Vellfire and for this latest generation, it has been given a major overhaul to make it as luxurious as possible and it did. The dashboard looks like it took from the Land Cruiser Prado but it pushes all the right buttons as planned. As for the sat-nav system, it's now integrated with Toyota's T-Connect telematics system first applied on the recently facelifted Camry last year.

If you never know what that is, T-Connect is Toyota's new telematics services along with sat-navs compatible with this and a smartphone app.  In addition to the voice controls, T-Connect allows third-party apps to be downloaded to the navigation system. There's an online help service that integrates and improves on the functions the G-BOOK currently provided. In short; T-Connect from Toyota features interactive voice response, service for downloading apps to the sat-nav, improved online help, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Both the new Alphard and the new Vellfire are available with the choice of a 7 or 8 seater but for those who prefer the seven seater might come in for a treat because depending on the variant, it can be offered with three ottoman seats, one in the passenger side and the other two on the second row seats. They can be adjusted forwards or backwards and between you and me, there's no other luxury MPV that would have done such, having an ottoman seat on the passenger side that can be adjusted forwards or backwards so you can feel like you're the boss.

For an added surprise, the new models now come with the first ever cargo area under the third row seat sliding mechanism. You can store up to 148-liters of storage under the floor and the deck board can be folded into three sections to provide both a sliding third-row and under-floor storage.

There's also the first-ever Smart Entry and Push Start System which automatically opens the sliding door as the user approaches after setting up a reservation and can be locked automatically after it closes.

There are so many conveniences you can find on the new Alphard and Vellfire such as the available rear-seat entertainment system, the JBL Sound System, and many more.

2016 Toyota Alphard

2016 Toyota Vellfire

The cheaper versions have increased the size of their 4-cylinder engines from the former 2.4L to 2.5L! With added displacement comes with added performance because this 2.5L 2AR-FE engine produces 182PS of power and 235Nm of torque. Couple that with the Super CVT-i (with 7-speed manual mode) and an idling stop feature and you can expect up to 12.8km/L of fuel economy as calculated by JC08 Mode standards.

The-top-of-the-line models still comes with the same 3.5L V6 engine that produces 280PS of power and 344Nm of torque while mated with a 6-speed Super ECT. Fuel economy is a thirsty 9.5km/L.

On the hybrid models, the hybrid system has now been reworked and it now features the same 2AR-FXE 2.5L Atkinson-cycle engine as seen from the Camry while connected with two electric motors, generating a total output of a modest 197PS of power output and an improved fuel economy of up to 19.4km/L, depending on the variant.

Apart from the engine choices, the new Alphard and Vellfire now comes with a revised bodywork made of high-tensile strength steel for added rigidity as well as a new double-wishbone rear suspension just like the ones you found on your Honda Odyssey. This results to a comfortable mobility and added stability while reduced NVH results to a quiet ride while in motion, giving these minivans the touch and class of a flagship premium saloon.

The new Alphard and Vellfire starts at 3,197,782 up to 7,036,691 Japanese Yen (around $32,000 to $71,000). Yes. You can afford one than the Nissan Elgrand for now and you can take advantage of the new features that its rival minivans of its class don't.

Available colors (Alphard): White Pearl Crystal Shine, Luxury White Crystal Shine Glass Flake, Silver Metallic, Grey Metallic, Black, Sparkling Black Pearl Crystal Shine, and Greyish Blue Mica Metallic

Available colors (Vellfire): White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic, Grey Metallic, Black, Sparkling Black Pearl Crystal Shine, Burning Black Crystal Shine, and Greyish Blue Mica Metallic.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

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